A Pinterest Christmas

I had the opportunity to try a number of Christmas pins over the last few weeks. From a paper nativity the girls colored to an advent calendar to help us count down to Christmas, Pinterest has a wealth of creative and fun ideas. I thought I’d highlight a few ornament ideas we tried out this year.

I saw these melted snowman ornaments and couldn’t resist trying them. They are creative, affordable, and easy to make. We made ours with kosher salt, peppercorns, rolled up construction paper and scraps of material for scarves. We made these at our Community Group’s Christmas party.

IMG_6747IMG_6925We also tried glass ornaments with acrylic paint. Ours looked great at first, but over time the paint settled a bit and didn’t totally coat the inside of the ornament. This may have been because (1) I encouraged people to shake the ornament to get the paint distributed (the directions just have you patiently move the ornament until the paint covers every surface) and (2) I didn’t let our ornaments sit upside-down in cups to dry for two days.IMG_6748IMG_6926

I had a lot of glass ornaments, so Abigail helped me make these to serve as “First Christmas Together” ornaments for friends of ours. I cut wedding programs into strips and Abigail helped me wrap the strips around a pencil to curl them. I really like how these turned out.

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Gingerbread House Decorating

The girls were quite excited to make a Gingerbread House this year. It ended up being a two day process where we prepped and baked the dough the first day and then constructed and decorated the house the second day.

I ended up using this recipe for the dough and went to Martha Stewart for the template (thanks to Pinterest). The only problem was that the template did not come with a roof, so we had to make our own. The dough was not easy to work with, but with a little patience we managed to make a decent house.

Instead of obsessing over what candy the girls used and where they put the candy I gave them free reign over two sides of the house and half of the roof while I did the rest.

The roof “shingles” were made by rolling out gumdrops with a little sugar to prevent sticking. This was a creative idea my Mom came up with that I decided to use. I love the way it looks!

The girls did a lot of “gluing”, attaching, and licking. It got to the point where Jonathan changed his mind about eating any of the candy on the gingerbread house.IMG_6632IMG_6633IMG_6651IMG_6655IMG_6682IMG_6693IMG_6696IMG_6688

Meeting Mrs. Claus

Our local library hosts a visit from Mrs. Claus every year. We didn’t go last year because Lily was only a month old. Abigail and Sarah were quite excited to see Santa’s better half.

Part of Mrs. Claus’ presentation includes picking out children one by one and dressing them up for a little parade through the library. The girls were so excited to be dressed by Mrs. Claus that they could be heard saying, “Me! Me! Me!” followed by pouting when someone else was picked. Finally they were chosen. Abigail became a Jack in the Box and Sarah was a special angel/fairy whose duty was to make sure Santa’s dolls were polished. Wouldn’t you know it, after all her “Me! Me! Me!”s Sarah was not happy with her important duty. She wanted a wand instead of her rag and doll. We did manage to get her to participate in the parade though.

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Special thanks goes to our friend Jennifer, who came with us and took lots of pictures while I lulled Lily to sleep in the baby carrier.

Trimming the Tree

We put our tree together the day after Thanksgiving. We really miss having a real “live” tree, but it just does not seem practical with a curious toddler. Hopefully next year when the girls are older we’ll get a real tree.

One benefit of using a small fake tree is the ability to put it up high. Lily can barely reach the ornaments that hang from the lower branches. We still let her explore a bit while we decorated.

The girls have been very excited for Christmas to finally get here. It is crazy to think it is only a few days away!

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Thanksgiving

I cannot believe it has been almost a month since Thanksgiving. We ended up spending the day at Nonna and Papa’s house. The girls spent most of the day playing while I helped Nonna, Auntie Laura, and Auntie Dawn make the meal. The guys did what most guys do on Thanksgiving-watch football.

The girls had a blast trying out Jenga for the first time. They were both surprisingly gentle when it was their turn.

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The weather was beautiful, though a bit chilly. We took advantage and attempted family pictures.

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Uncle James and Auntie Dawn made the trip from New Jersey to join us. It was great seeing them again. Can you believe I didn’t get any pictures though?!

I really cannot get enough of celebrating with family around my Grandparents’ dining room table. There is just so much life and laughter going on. The yummy food ends up being the icing on the cake.

Jonathan and I have so much to be thankful for. God has blessed us with three beautiful girls, a place to live, a community to be a part of, and a wonderful family (among a list of many other things).

Welcome!

Welcome to The Speed of Life, our new blog. Here we hope to keep up to date on our family fun, new recipe experiments, and homeschool adventures. It’s been a while since we’ve blogged, so look forward to a number of catch-up posts. You will also notice a new look hopefully before we ring in the New Year.

Thanks for keeping up with us!